All totally static, the hardest part of this event is done long before it starts and the most complicated bit is knowing just exactly how many screws the factory used to attach the hood and whether they were slotted or PK or is the colour of your block exactly the right shade of red or should it be grey anyway.
The competitors are the cars, the judges are very rarely right, and once you've done all the cleaning and polishing, parked the car properly with the hood and bonnet up, the boot and doors unlocked and the tool kit nicely displayed all you can do is sit back relax and admire the competition. A very relaxing and convivial way to spend an afternoon. Why d 'elegance and d'etat? The former is what it looks like. The emphasis is on beauty; if embellishments are of the period, 'elegant' and add to the attractiveness of the car, you'll pick up extra points. Overseas, competitors even dress up in appropriate costume, add background music and a script to create the elegant effect. The second format emphasises, originality and condition that is as close to the original factory form as possible. Now the correct shade of paint really is important.
Winners are generally perfectionists who pay manic attention to detail. They really do know the correct shades of red, grey, blue, green and cream, etc. and will happily argue about them with other winning types into the wee small hours.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR CONCOURS D’ETAT
All cars must be driven to their respective Concours positions.
Cars should be presented with hoods erect and driver’s side screen removed, or window down. Bonnets and boots or side screen boxes should be left open for judging, and tool kits should be displayed in front of the car.
This is a judgement of ‘condition’ (concours d’etat = literally “contest of condition”) of the car in its original form, rather than of ‘elegance’ (Fr concours d’elegance). Condition includes cleanliness, all original equipment in place, paint colours correct, chrome as per original specs etc. In all categories non-original equipment or materials (other than safety) should be penalised. The more significant the item the greater the penalty
Points should also be deducted for incomplete vehicles – ie. No hood, no spare wheel etc. (Penalised as above)
Exterior (Total 25 points)
All exterior bodywork, condition and alignment, paint, glass, chrome, lights, soft top and external spare wheel (if fitted), NB. Minimal penalty for touched up stone chips on otherwise perfect paint.
Interior (Total 25 Points)
Includes fascia, instruments, steering wheel, glove box/s, carpets, seats, upholstery, roof/hood lining, pedal rubbers, handles, knobs, tool kit, and boot, spare wheel and where appropriate sidescreen box
Top marks(up to 25) Perfect paint, chrome and panel alignment, no ripples or dings, no tears scratches, no cracks etc, all original equipment or replaced as original signs labels etc, a complete clean and original car in perfect condition - ex showroom (with emphasis on the ‘show’). Aftermarket safety equipment/accessories no penalty if safety related e.g. seatbelts (on a pre1955 model), additional (period) mirror, supercharger, etc. But non safety items should be penalised (seat covers, non std steering wheel etc)
Average marks (13+/-) slightly faded paint, the odd scratch or two or, un-repaired chips, - generally clean but a few more awkward areas not reached etc, oil drips here and there, maybe even a little rust evident. overall used, but not abused.
Low marks (5+/-) bad paintwork, dents, rust evident and damaged trim. Not cleaned – grimy oil and grease everywhere! Should have left the MG at home and gone golfing or fishing.